Limerick has 'key opportunity' to attract investment in light of Brexit, report finds

Jess Casey

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Jess Casey

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Limerick has 'key opportunity' to attract FDI in light of Brexit

Dr. Pat Daly, Limerick City and County Council, Mayor James Collins, Ciara Morley, Senior Consultant with EY-DKM and Neil Gibson, Chief Economist, EY Ireland Picture: Sean Curtin True Media

LIMERICK has a “key opportunity” to position itself as an attractive destination for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in light of Brexit, a major economic report has found. 

An Economic Data Profiling Report for both the city and county, commissioned by Limerick City and County Council and carried out by EY-DKM Economic Advisory Services, has found that Limerick’s competitive cost of living make it an attractive destination for FDI due to Brexit. 

Limerick is “the urban success story of the recovery”, according to Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr James Collins. 

“The key barometer for any region is jobs and in Limerick we have had 12,000 jobs created in less than five years with, 5,000 private sector jobs in the city and suburbs alone,” Cllr Collins said. 

“That’s unprecedented growth for Limerick but the true definition of Limerick today is that we want to go again and this report is part of that process,” he added. 

“This is about taking stock of where we are, analysing what we need to focus on and moving forward with ambition to be the best city in Ireland to work, live and play in.”

Limerick is already in a strong position to attract FDI in comparison to other Irish cities but there are some issues that need to be addressed to reach its potential, according to senior consultant with EY-DKM Economic Advisory Ciara Morley. 

This includes tackling the “hollowing out of the city centre” as well as social issues, particularly unemployment blackspots, she added. 

“The labour market has shown strong signs of improvement and the revitalisation of the city centre is well underway with the development of key projects under Limerick 2030.” 

“Relative to the other Irish cities Limerick is already in a strong position with its competitive cost of living and doing business but there is no doubt that the supply of high quality office space coming on-stream and the Council’s ability to address infrastructural issues such as transport and broadband connectivity will only act to enhance Limerick’s offering to international markets further,” Ms Morely added. 

Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council Conn Murray said: “We’ve made quantum leaps since we launched our economic and spatial strategy, achieving a level of success that few would have believed."

"We were coming from an extremely low base and a huge amount has gone into getting us to where we are. But we’re not going to be patting ourselves on the back as there’s a long way to go." 

“The momentum we’ve built up is going to drive us forward and this report, while quantifying our success to date, is also about identifying the direction we need to take so that we can continue to grow the city, county and region," he added.